News from Parliaments

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Commissioner Andor´s speech on "Greece on the road to recovery and job creation"

08/07/2013
Speech by EU Commissioner Mr. Laszlo Andor at the joint meeting of the Committee on European Affairs, the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs and the Standing Committee on Social Affairs.

Mr. Laszlo Andor , EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, delivered a speech on " Greece on the road to recovery and job creation”, at , a joint meeting of the Committee on European Affairs , the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs and the Standing Committee on Social Affairs which took place on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at the Hellenic Parliament.

The Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs, Mr Ioannis Tragakis, in his introductory speech raised the issues of high unemployment (27,2% of the total manpower are jobless and 64% of the young people), brain drain and deteriorated living standards that Greece suffers, as a result of the prolonged recession.

Mr Andor presented to the Committees the actions and financial instruments of the European Commission on youth unemployment, spoke about the need to tackle social inequalities across the EU and praised the reform efforts of Greece. He also emphasized on the urgent need to effectively implement the European Youth Guarantee and answered thoroughly to all questions raised by the Committees’ members.

Source: The Hellenic Parliament

Croatia 28th Member State of the European Union and present in IPEX

01/07/2013
On Monday 1 July Croatia became the 28th Member State of the European Union. Croatia's accession marks another milestone in the construction of a united Europe. It also provides fresh evidence of the transformative power of the European Union: torn by conflict only two decades ago, Croatia is now a stable democracy, capable of taking on the obligations of EU membership and of adhering to EU standards.
Source: European Commission

The website of the National Parliament of Croatia in IPEX can be reached at:
http://www.ipex.eu/IPEXL-WEB/parliaments/neparliaments.do

Consideration of the European Semester by the Danish Parliament

24/06/2013
The European Affairs Committee of the Danish Parliament has together with the Finance Committee, adopted a Report on the consideration of the European Semester.

In order to ensure democratic legitimacy and a control of the process, the Report aims at adapting procedures so as to enable the Danish Parliament to ensure parliamentary control of the European Semester.

The full text of the Report can be found here.

Source: The Danish Parliament

Discussion on Council Recommendation on Slovenia's 2013 National Reform Programme and of the Council Opinion on Slovenia's Updated Stability Programme, 2012-2016 by the Committee on EU Affairs

20/06/2013
Within the framework of the European semester, the European Commission carried out an extensive analysis of Slovenian economic policy. On the basis of the Stability programme for Slovenia and the National Reform Programme, it prepared the In-depth review for SLOVENIA in accordance with Article 5 of the Regulation (EU) No. 1176/2011 on the prevention and correction of macroeconomic imbalances.

The National Assembly is actively involved in the discussion of all EU policies. The competent committee and the working bodies dealt with the National Reform Programme and the Stability Programme in accordance with the statutory provisions and the Rules of Procedure while this year, the Committee on EU Affairs for the first time discussed and took note of the Commission Recommendation for a COUNCIL RECOMMENDATION on Slovenia's 2013 national reform programme and of the Council opinion on Slovenia's updated stability programme, 2012-2016.

At its 66th meeting of 14 June 2013, the Committee on European Affairs invited the Minister of Finance and representatives of the European Commission Representation in Slovenia. Following the debate, the committee members agreed that Slovenia is in a difficult financial situation but nevertheless the implementation of the reforms in recommended areas continues and the recommendations do not represent a deviation from the set direction, but rather a technical confirmation that the implementation of reforms proceeds in the right direction. Slovenia is on the way to regain trust so that in the future it will solve problems upon its own consideration before they even incur. The Committee took note of the recommendations and the position of the Republic of Slovenia thereon.

Source: The Slovenian National Assembly

Van Symposium On Eu-Turkey Relations: Future Prospects

14/06/2013
The ‘Symposium On EU-Turkey Relations: Future Prospects’ organized jointly by Grand National Assembly of Turkey (GNAT) and the EU, was held in Van on the 27th and 28th of May 2013.

Among the 90 participants for the first day and 77 of the second day, there were members of parliaments from Turkey and from EU Member States (Ireland, France, Portugal, Hungary, Poland), who along with political party and civil society representatives, relevant public authorities, representatives of the European Parliament, the Head of the EUD in Turkey, representative of the Ministry for EU Affairs, ambassadors academicians and journalists, discussed topics such as: EU-Turkey: From Past into Future, EU-Turkey: Common Values, “Europeanness” and Cultural Identities, Effects of the Financial Crisis on Turkey and the EU, Civil Society and Youth on the Way to the European Union.

Throughout the sessions Turkey-EU Relations were intellectualized from different perspectives. Also, problems occurred between Turkey and EU due to the economic crises; Turkey’s position within the EU according to the concepts such as European Identity, Europeanness, Common Values; the importance of civil society and youth throughout the negotiation process of Turkey to the EU were discussed thoroughly.

The Symposium on EU-Turkey Relations: Future Prospects was the fifth –out of six- symposia to be organised under the Parliamentary Exchange and Dialogue Project whose aim was to contribute to a better knowledge and understanding between Turkey and the European Union through building up civil society dialogue between Turkey and the EU and through the establishment of better structured and well informed political channels for powerful civil society participation in Turkey’s political life.
In order to follow the next project meetings, the official web site, Twitter and Facebook accounts of the Project are the following: http://pecs.tbmm.gov.tr, https://twitter.com/pexdproject and http://www.facebook.com/pexdproject

Source: The Grand National Assembly of Turkey

Exchange Visits Of The Parliamentary Exchange And Dialogue Project May 2013

14/06/2013
Within the scope of the Parliamentary Exchange and Dialogue Project, three exchange visits took place during May 2013, namely delegations of Lithuania and Belgium travelled to Ankara and Istanbul respectively from 13-17 May, 18-22 May and a Turkish Delegation paid a visit to the Netherlands between 20-24 May.

The members of the Lithuanian delegation (Ms. PAVILIONIENĖ Marija Aušrinė, Member of the Committee on Education, Science and Culture, Member of the Committee on EU Affairs, Chair of the Women Group to the Parliament; Ms. PETRAUSKIENĖ Milda, Vice Chair of the Committee on Public and Local Administrations; and Ms. RAGALIAUSKIENE Rūta, Advisor to the Committee on Human Rights), and the Belgian Delegation (Ms. PEHLİVAN Fatma, Senator; De CROO Herman Dr. MP, Minister of State, Member of the EU Affairs Committee; Mr. TANS Philip, Director to Secretary General of Chamber of Deputies) were received by the Presidency of the GNAT, held consultation sessions with members of the Committee on EU Harmonization, the relevant inter-parliamentary friendship groups, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men (Lithuanian Delegation), had meetings with high representative form the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and high level meetings with all political party groups represented in the GNAT, namely the Justice and Development Party, the Republican People’s Party, the Nationalist Movement Party and the Peace and Democracy Party. The Lithuanian Delegation also met the Mayor of Fatih Municipality in Istanbul and Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey (KAGIDER).

The Turkish Delegation that visited the Dutch Parliament (Mr. DİŞLİ Şaban, Chair of Turkish Dutch Parliamentary Friendship Group, Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Member of Turkish Delegation to the PACE; Mr. DEĞİRMENDERELİ Kemal, Member of the Turkey-the Netherlands Inter-parliamentary Friendship Group, Member of the Committee on Industry, Trade, Energy, Natural Resources, Information and Technology) had the chance to meet Deputy Clerk of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, to attend the weekly question hour of the Dutch Parliament (followed by an explanation of the proceedings) and to listen to a welcoming speech by the Speaker of the House. In addition, the Delegation from the GNAT met the Director of the European Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representatives of Turkish NGOs and media institutions.

In order to follow the next Project meetings, the official web site, Twitter and Facebook accounts of the Project are the following: http://pecs.tbmm.gov.tr, https://twitter.com/pexdproject and http://www.facebook.com/pexdproject

Source: The Grand National Assembly of Turkey

Lords Committee Publishes report on the UK opt-in to Europol

10/06/2013
The House of Lords EU Committee calls for the UK Government to opt-in to the proposal for a Europol Regulation. In its report, the Committee considers the proposal, including concerns raised by the Government regarding some of its provisions, and concludes that the Government should opt-in to the Regulation so that it can play a full and constructive role in the negotiations.

Commenting on the report, Committee Chairman, Lord Hannay of Chiswick,
said:

"Europol provides the UK's law enforcement agencies with crucial information, analysis and coordination functions, which helps them fight organised crime and terrorism in the UK and beyond. We therefore believe that the Government should exercise its right to opt in to this Regulation, thus removing Europol from the list of pre-Lisbon measures covered by the block opt-out decision.

"While we agree with the Government that some areas of the proposed Regulation need to be clarified, we consider that the UK's continued participation in Europol is an important part of ensuring the safety and security of British citizens, and that these concerns will best be addressed in the forthcoming negotiations.

"We also believe that the Commission needs to make a more convincing case for the proposed merger of Europol and CEPOL. While the Government also seems to have concerns about this, they appear unconcerned about the possible relocation of CEPOL to The Hague, following their announcement that the agency's lease at Bramshill will come to an end in March 2014. Our report asks for further information about their position in this regard."

Source: UK House of Lords

Meeting of the Deputy Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament with the President of Eurogroup

04/06/2013
The Deputy Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament and Chairman of the Committee for European Affairs Mr. Ioannis Tragakis met on Friday 31st of May 2013 with the President of Eurogroup, Mr. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, in the presence of the Chairman of the Standing Committee on National Defense and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Miltiadis Varvitsiotis.

Mr. Tragakis, referring to the sacrifices of Greek people and also to the high unemployment rate-especially that of young people-as a result of the economic crisis, underlined the pan-European effort that Greece will declare when holding the Presidency, to combat unemployment through development. Mr. Tragakis also stated that Greece is always Eurozone-oriented, and mentioned that many economic indicators in Greece have now a positive sign, thereby expressing the conviction that “the country will move ahead on the growth path”.

From his side, the President of Eurogroup expressed his support to Greece which “shows great progress in the implementation of the adjustment program and remains consistent in its commitments, therefore Eurogroup will act accordingly”. Mr. Dijsselbloem sounded particularly optimistic about Greece in relevance to the economy’s recovery and the jobs creation. Referring to the principle of solidarity among the Member States of the EU, he expressed his personal support both for Greece and for the Presidency that the country will undertake in January 2014.

Source: The Hellenic Parliament

First regional Reasoned Opinion in Belgium

23/05/2013
In accordance with Declaration 51 by the Kingdom of Belgium on national parliaments, annexed to the Treaty of Lisbon, the parliamentary assemblies of the Communities and the Regions act, in terms of the competences exercised by the Union, as components of the national parliamentary system or chambers of the national Parliament. For this reason, a reasoned opinion issued by one of those parliamentary assemblies has to be considered as a reasoned opinion of one of the chambers of the Belgian Parliament.

On 8 May 2013, the Flemish Parliament adopted in plenary a reasoned opinion on the Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for maritime spatial planning and integrated coastal management (COM (2013) 133). Maritime spatial planning and coastal management are regional competences in Belgium.

In case several regional parliaments or both regional and federal parliamentary bodies adopt a reasoned opinion, the 2 votes of the Belgian Federal Parliament are distributed in accordance with the cooperation agreement between the Belgian parliamentary bodies.

Source: The Belgian Senate

Romanian Parliament finalizes approval of the draft law on Nabucco construction

22/05/2013
The Chamber of Deputies adopted on May 21st, with 329 votes in favor and one against (no abstention), the draft law on the necessary measures for the Nabucco natural gas pipeline construction. The Senate had passedit a week ago.

The draft law provides express regulations on the private ownership of the pipeline, the content of land rights over the plots concerned, the juridical regime applicable to pipeline transportation activities, the creation of the right of superficies and easement right over plots of lands belonging to third parties in favor of Nabucco Romania, as well as the criteria for the payment of indemnities to owners or bearers of activities of the plots of land concerned.

Nabucco is considered as a European strategic project, falling within the general goal of energy security and independence, an essential element of economic development, draft law points out. The right of superficies will span an up to 50 year period since the investment is made, including the construction time. It also institutes the easement right for an upper limit of 50 year period.

Construction works on Nabucco are scheduled to start in 2015, and the first deliveries should be made in 2018 to Georgia and Turkey. The natural gas transported through this pipeline will end up in Europe in 2019, Nabucco project officials said.

The adoption of the bill came to pass coincidentally a day before the European Council meeting of May 22nd, when the heads of state or government will have a strategic discussion on the key issue of energy policy, in the context of the EU's efforts to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness.

More information on the parliamentary proceedings on the bill may be found on the Chamber of Deputies’ official page, at: http://www.cdep.ro/pls/proiecte/upl_pck.proiect?idp=13278

Source: The Romanian Chamber of Deputies
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